Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Still cheesed off?

Well no, how can you be now the weather has finally improved? Not that I could enjoy it having been chained to a steaming laptop all day. So I guess I am a bit narked if you must ask. In truth, the picture was taken a couple of weeks back circa Sleepy Lagoon post - I took a whole bunch that day; I love that end of the beach. And the cheese reference was a cheeky way of drawing your attention to Just This Side of Normal where you can join in the great, or should I say grate, cheese debate courtesy of the Caffienated Cowgirl. Do drop in and join the discussion.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Pigging Out

Allow me to introduce (L to R) Ophelia, Octavia & Jezebel. These girls are Berkshires, a breed described as vulnerable due to the small number of breeding sows in the UK. Berkshires originated in England c.1790 and faced near extinction in the mid 20th century. At this weekend's Rare Breeds show at the Weald & Downland Museum in West Sussex, Ophelia & Jezebel were on show and having been bathed and oiled, were at their shiny best.

Less inclined to pose for the camera (than when caked in mud!), Ophelia showed plenty of star quality and picked up a first in the Gilts born after 1st Jan 2007 class. If you want to know more about Berkshires, check out the Berkshire Breeders Club web site. Other rare breeds on show were ...

...the Oxford Sandy & Black...

...the Large Black...

...the Saddleback...

...and the Gloucester Old Spot.

Pigs may not be your thing but going to a show like this was certainly fun and an education. It's thanks to the hard working breeders that these breeds, part of our national heritage, continue to literally exist.
Well done Suzy & Stuart for having the best Berkshire's around. Anyone interested to know more, drop me a line via the comments page.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Piggly Wriggly

Fun & games at the Rare Breeds Show. And a first place! More pics (and pigs) tomorrow.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

I would say ....

it must be any day now!

Friday, 20 July 2007

Job satisfaction

Work has taken me to some pretty exotic and exciting places over the years: Mumbai, Marseilles, Bangkok, Cancun. Like many people in my position, the experience is often viewed through a conference hall window, a taxi ride, a hotel balcony view. Now, I'm not complaining about my experiences, the passport stamps were all paid for by one company or another. But I can't remember a time when I was ooohing and aaaaahing at somewhere so beautiful that arriving on time for the meeting was the last thing on my mind. Until this week.

Just some of Derbyshire's delights.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Friday, 13 July 2007

By the Sleepy Lagoon

I have always loved the theme tune to Desert Island discs, it is so evocative and haven't we all played the game at some point, to try and list the 10 pieces of music you couldn't live without (not forgetting 1 book and 1 luxury)? Click here if you don't know it.

Well it was a real treat to discover the inspiration for the piece of music is barely a mile from my doorstep. The stretch of coast around Selsey is patchy in it's attractiveness, being a fishing town and a popular place for daytrippers, it can be a bit messy and smelly. It's also a pebble beach where as most people would probably prefer long stretches of sand. That said, I think it has it's own qualities, particularly out of season.

To get to this magical spot, you have to walk away from Selsey Bill, about a mile to the East until the path runs out and magnificent purple thistles and wild sea kale grow on the beach. There you will find some incredibly unusual houses, some made from old railway carriages, and a blissful view to Pagham, Bognor Regis and the Sussex Downs beyond.

It's a very quiet spot, few daytrippers venture down the beach that far. And if you time it right, when the tide is out, you too can share Coates' image of a sleepy lagoon. But don't tell anyone, OK? Or else they'll all want to come.
Correction: Lest any D.I.D. afficionados out there tell me off, of course it's 8 favourite pieces of music.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Hard day at the office?

I think he knows where I'm coming from.

Monday, 9 July 2007

These Little Piggies

erm, yes they did I'm afraid.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Sweet as Honey

I will never get tired of photographing animals and I think cows are fast becoming my favourite subjects. And today there was a real treat up at the farm. For the uninitiated, 'the farm' isn't mine. None of the farm animals you see on my pages are mine. Only a horse, the dogs and a cat called Betty (so cool she named the blog) can claim to own me. But can I 'own' a cow I saw born today? Can I please? This farm is where my horse hangs out with her horsey buddies. Today one of the (bovine) herd needed a helping hand ....

but all was OK and, as nature takes care of these things, the little girl was on her feet in a few minutes ....

whilst the rest of the herd maintained a discreet distance ....

and some just couldn't contain their joy.

Happy Birthday Honey!

Saturday, 7 July 2007

The sun turned up today

I may have mentioned before that gardening is let's say, a 'challenge' when you own possibly the only two cocker spaniels in the world who are serial herbivores (we're talking entire lavender bushes, lawns etc.) And so, any flights of fancy I may harbour of having a vegetable garden, are just that, in the land of make believe. However, inspired by my neighbour, who grows all manner of veggies between her flowers, I felt I must find some small patch in which to grow something, that patch having to be in the front garden, out of pooch-reach. The flowers pictured in earlier posts, pretty much all exist in the front garden, which is by no means big and has to accommodate a car and a van, such is the risk of vandalism if you park on the street these days. So, the only spot I could think of, without tearing out too many plants, is the strip you see by the side wall, measuring probably 18inches wide by 12 feet long. This was previously a bit of a mess, weedy, with a crowd of straggly wildflowers, montbretia (crocosmia) and hollyhocks. I really hate ripping out hollyhocks, particularly as they are in full flower, but they really deserve a better setting and sadly, with the wind and rain we've had of late and will doubtless have again, they end up horizontal in no time. And so, you are among the first to see my very own kitchen garden! OK, that sounds a bit grand but hey, I already sowed some radishes! And isn't the new willow edging so smart?! I thought so. Mum, if you are looking in, hope you approve. This little birdie came and had a look just as I was finishing. Unfortunately, he stood on the bit I hadn't yet tidied, but that's birds for you.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Lost at sea

The big yellow thingy that floats around in the sky ... answers to the name of 'Sun'.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Time flies

Hard to believe you could once fit that much mischief in the palm of your hand. Fast forward 6 months and the proof was all around. Can you tell what happened here? Yep, the clue is in the upturned clay pot and dirty noses.